More Honors for Two NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Communities

Be Inspired – In July we shared news that two of our NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) communities had been nationally recognized for their work to support children’s early childhood success. Now these same communities – the Durham Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Twin Counties Read to Rise in Nash and Edgecombe – have received further recognition for their efforts to build parents’ skills in supporting their children’s academic success. Twin Counties Read to Rise was recognized as a 2019 Pacesetter and Durham CGLR as a 2019 Bright Spot by the national CGLR.

A national Technical Review Team of peers reviewed 214 submissions from across the country and assessed supplementary data to substantiate observable progress in one or more of the six impact areas. Twenty-nine awards were given for best practices in six community solution impact areas: grade-level proficiency, school readiness, parent success, healthy development, summer/after school learning and school attendance/chronic absence.

“At this challenging time, we have much to learn from each other. These communities are leading the way in the six impact areas that we know matter,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We congratulate them for this achievement and encourage our entire network to learn from them.”

Twin Counties Read to Rise

Data showed that two-thirds of children in Nash and Edgecombe counties are not in formal child care. Additionally, survey results from kindergarten teachers indicated that students lacked necessary social skills to learn in the classroom. With that knowledge, the collaborative has focused on strategies to develop social skills and increase school readiness outside of a child care setting.

Twin Counties Read to Rise expanded its evidence-based Kaleidoscope Play and Learn Groups program to support young children at home. These playgroups reach families in rural areas with fewer child care options through offering play groups at libraries and community resource centers. Expansion of the program to a wider area and increased number of sessions resulted in doubling the children being served beyond what was projected.

The program expansion did not result in hiring more staff, but rather training participants to be parent play group leaders. The program resulted in an increased socialization opportunities for children as well as empowering parents to become community leaders and recruit more parents to the play groups.

Durham Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Low-income and under-resourced communities are often unable to access much-needed literacy resources and supports. Challenges such as limited transportation can be barriers to accessing resources. That’s why the Durham Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Book Harvest organized Books and Beyond: Laundromats.

The program turns the downtime families spend together each week at the laundromat into literacy enrichment opportunities. Families are met in laundromats by a Book Harvest team to share story time, literacy programs and stock shelves with children’s books. Laundromat owners and operators support the program too! In 2019, 689 children participated in 186 story times and took home 10,696 books.

You can read more about the Durham Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Twin Counties Read to Rise earlier awards this year here.

CGLR is a collaborative of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities working to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities.

The NC CGLR has a vision where diverse and inclusive communities grow thriving readers, beginning at birth and continuing through third grade, so each child is prepared for success. NCECF supports 14 communities across NC in realizing that vision by hosting a learning community and providing resources and tools vital to build a foundation for children to read on grade level by the end of the third grade.